Advertise with

'Purpose for business’ is a business methodology, conceptualised by Joe Public co-founder Pepe Marais, which ensures that businesses are endowed with a greater purpose beyond profit.
'Purpose for business’ is a business methodology, conceptualised by Joe Public co-founder Pepe Marais, which ensures that businesses are endowed with a greater purpose beyond profit.

Balancing the bottom line with a defined purpose


By Lynette Dicey - Mar 27th, 09:45

Joe Public United is one of SA’s top independent and fastest-growing advertising groups and has been the recipient of numerous awards since 2014, including several AdFocus awards and scooping the Agency of the Year at the Loerie Awards for the first time in 2018.  

Key to the success of the agency has been the implementation of co-founder Pepe Marais’ “purpose for business” methodology, a strategy that ensures the business has greater purpose beyond profit. Marais believes that it is only businesses that balance their obsession with the bottom line with a clearly defined greater purpose that will be sustainable in the future. It’s a methodology which is starting to attract the attention of the business community.

Marais’ career trajectory is detailed in his first book, Growing Greatness, published in 2018. Part autobiography, part business case study, the book details the development of his “purpose for business” methodology and offers key lessons in how to unlock human and business potential. Growing Greatness has been among Exclusive Books’ top 10 business books since its release.

To say Marais has had a tumultuous career in advertising is perhaps an understatement. Marais and business partner Gareth Leck co-founded Joe Public in 1998, incorporating a takeaway advertising concept which disrupted traditional advertising agency models. So successful was the model that the agency won the FM Emerging Agency of the Year award in its first year of operation.

Success breeds success and the agency was nominated as one of the SA companies to watch in its second year. In its third year of business, Marais and Leck were persuaded to sell their fledgeling business to DraftFCB America, a decision they would later regret. They soon discovered that it’s one thing running your own entrepreneurial concern, and quite another to work on behalf of a multinational owner more interested in pursuing a growing bottom line.

From flying high the agency’s growth became lacklustre at best. The loss of its biggest account, CTM, which accounted for 60% of the business, was a significant blow. However, ultimately it allowed Marais and Leck to buy back the agency in 2009, ensuring that Joe Public was once again a 100% wholly owned locally entity.

During the course of his advertising career, Marais has been the recipient of numerous local and international industry awards. He has served on various judging panels of the Loerie Awards since 2004, judged at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity twice, judged the New York One Show Awards and has served as a member of the executive committee of the SA Creative Circle since 2007.

For three consecutive years he was voted by his peers the Most Admired Agency Creative in Johannesburg, and in 2017 he was voted the Most Admired Agency Professional by marketers in the 2017 Scopen Agency Scope report. In 2018, he was ranked by the Loerie Awards as the No 1 chief creative officer in SA, Africa and the Middle East, and was named SA’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the medium business category in the Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

Business Live 

Related News

Clicks says private-label products boosted interim earnings
17/04/2019 - 09:59
Clicks Group says it grew headline earnings by 12.9% to R763.3m in the six months to February thanks in part to better sales of its private-label products and higher profits from its distribution business.

Mulberry teams up with Farfetch to bolster global omnichannel
16/04/2019 - 15:31
Mulberry has launched a partnership with online luxury fashion retailer Farfetch to strengthen its international omnichannel strategy.

Water giants clean up their act in search for alternatives to plastic
16/04/2019 - 14:43
Two of the world’s biggest water companies are thinking outside the bottle about how to hydrate consumers as environmental campaigners take aim at the enormous amount of plastic waste the industry produces.

Winning with sustainability in retail
16/04/2019 - 10:59
While there’s pessimism in the air with regards to global product sales, every day there are also groundbreaking changes being implemented by brands and activists who genuinely want to “be the change” when it comes to sustainability. Influencers and businesses are seeking to establish new markets through innovation, leveraging their ideas and products to help fight climate change.

Marketing takes its place at the boardroom table
16/04/2019 - 09:44
Marketing is increasingly being seen by the accountants as an integral part of the success of any organisation, and many chief marketing officers are responsible for huge budgets, according to a new survey.